Tennessee city settles with ACLU for $500,000 over drag ban

Murfreesboro, Tennessee, settled with the American Civil Liberties Union on Wednesday over its ban against drag performances in public places, which is no longer in place.

As a result of the settlement, the city will have to pay the ACLU and the Tennessee Equality Project $500,000, in addition to accepting permit applications for drag performances in the future. An ordinance banning performances in public places came after a 2022 Pride event that allegedly involved children in a sexual manner, according to the city. TEP defended itself by claiming all the performers were fully dressed.

The ACLU alleged Murfreesboro Mayor Shane McFarland and City Manager Craig Tindall were “unconstitutionally prohibiting” every permit requested by the TEP.

“This settlement sends a clear message that the city’s discrimination against the LGBTQ+ community was blatantly unconstitutional and will not be tolerated,” the
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